10 Tips for a Productive (Work) Life

Tips for a Productive Work LifeI’ve always been the type of person who wants to get things done immediately. I may slack off once in a while but that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do anything for the day. And yes, I still long for a vacation where I can just lie down and think of nothing but the sand on my toes.

My everyday goal: To strike off one task at a time.

… Until I became a mom. 

All of a sudden, my planner is full of kids’ checkup, play class at 1o AM, lesson time with the kids, household chores, errands, deadlines for my freelance work, follow up on this and that, cook dinner by 5:00 PM, packing orders by 6 PM – and the list goes on. In other words, it is CHAOS. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that instead of accomplishing at least one or two tasks, I end up doing nothing – except for my mommy duties, of course.

In order to keep up with my (feeling) busy life, I made this list to help me accomplish the things that needs to be done and at the same time, help me live a productive life. Yes, it is really a struggle but here are ten things I do, which helps me stay on track.

1. My to-do list. Yes, I take my planner seriously. Before the day ends, I list down the things I need to do the following day so I don’t have to worry about it at night, when I’m about to sleep or come tomorrow morning. Keeping a schedule keeps me sane most of the time. This makes me feel that I am one step ahead for the following day.

2. Stay away from “time-wasting” activities. This is the really hard part for me. Every time the wi-fi is on, I can’t help but check e-mails, Facebook and even my blog. Since my phone’s wi-fi is also turned on, I get easily distracted when someone sends me a message on Viber. I have to admit – I’m no stranger to time wasting activities even if I’m on the middle of my work. Instead of finishing a 1500-word article in one hour or less, I was able to consume two hours, juggling work and well, Facebook – with active kids on the side. This means I wasted one hour of my day doing something which I can do before I sleep instead of devoting it for work.

Again, this is really a struggle for me but discipline is the key. And self-control too.

3. Take a break. Being a mom, housewife and a freelance writer can be exhausting. Did I mention that my girls have unlimited energy too? When everything else is pretty much becoming overwhelming, I stop, take a deep breath and give myself a break, even for a few minutes. Then I use this break to do my time-wasting activities such as checking Facebook and Instagram.

4. Set realistic goals. There are tons of moments when I say to myself “24 hours is not enough to finish what needs to be done.” Then I realized, I’m just an ordinary human with no super powers. I may be a supermom in the eyes of my husband and kids but deep inside, I’m just a regular person screaming for a break and hoping I can finish as many as I can.

What I’m saying is I learned to set realistic goals. If I can’t finish it today, then that’s fine. That’s the purpose of “tomorrow,” right?

5. Wake up early. I am NOT a morning person. When I was still single, I start my day at 9 or 10 AM and end it late. Of course, things are different now. I have developed this habit of waking up early when my yayas left us. I realized that by waking up even an hour early than my usual wake up time, I was able to do and finish a lot of tasks. I was able to cook breakfast for my family, clean the house, do other chores and even finish some of writings all before 7 or 8 AM, my kids’ waking time. Now, that’s how I jump start my day and keep the momentum going.

6. Do it one task at a time. At least I have a good habit, which I was able to carry on up until today. Haha! I’m never really a fan of multi-tasking. For me, doing different things all at the same time makes me work slower and more careless – and it’s not a good thing. What I do is I finish one task at a time. As soon as I’m done with my work, I move on to blogging or playing with my kids or whatever time-wasting activity I can think of. Plus, it makes me feel good when I cross out something on my to-do list.

7. Set a time for yourself. Yes mommies, if you want to be productive, set some time for yourself too. And it’s not just a simple break like taking a bath or lying down and watching TV while the kids are asleep. I usually have a schedule every month where I will allot a few hours solely for myself. I’ll get a massage or a foot spa or a hair cut or whatever. The point is spending more than one hour on myself has a positive effect on how I think and behave. Plus, it makes me feel good about myself, which can translate to productivity too.

8. Clean the mess. I am somewhat obsessive-compulsive so anything disorganized in our home distracts me. That is why before I open my laptop and start with my work, I make sure that the house, or at least the area where I intend to work, is clean enough. For me, a cluttered room leads to disorganized thoughts, which means I spend a few minutes staring in front of my computer, with no idea how to start because my thoughts are all over the place.

9. Don’t be afraid to say “No.” I have this annoying habit of doing everything my way since I have a hard time trusting other people especially when it comes to group work. When I started working online, I also brought this habit of saying “yes” to all my employer’s request. Apparently, that’s not the best way to go, productivity-wise. If I can’t handle it, I just say “I can’t.” At least work doesn’t pile up and I am able to spend my remaining time playing with the kids.

10. Make it a habit. It’s not very easy learning a new habit. It even takes time before you will notice a difference on how your day went. I know because it did take me months, years even, before I developed this increase my productivity techniques.

What worked for me may not work for you. On the other hand, your techniques may not work for me either. The point is increasing one’s productivity will take some time. Just stick to these techniques – or whatever tricks you’re doing now – and you’ll improve eventually. I’ve been there before so yes, it is possible.

What do you think mommies? What have you done to increase your productivity? 

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  1. Ernalou Del Rosario

    November 6, 2014 at 5:21 am

    I have just quit work to become a stay-at-home wife because my hubby and I want to get pregnant. I draw all my inspiration from successful mompreneurs like you <3 Keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:22 am

      Thank you so much 🙂 Though I don’t think I’m that successful yet as a mompreneur. There are still many things to improve on 🙂

  2. rozellevendil

    November 6, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Thanks for the helpful tips, super mom! You are doing such a great job. Actually, I cannot imagine myself being able to do the things that you actually do, considering you have kids. I only have an 11month old son but I am already having a hard time managing the house. I don’t even have a day job. So, congratulations for being a super mom! I hope I can be as productive as you are.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:23 am

      Of course you can mommy 🙂 I don’t even know how I was able to do it but thankfully, I was able to get by.

      Kaya mo din yan 🙂

  3. Kim Reyes

    November 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    My schedule became hectic too when I became a mom. And it turned extra hectic when I gave birth to a second child. Haha! I do the tips you mentioned above. Otherwise, I’ll go crazy!

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:24 am

      I have to agree! Things are much simpler with just one baby in the house. I got pregnant with my second child two months before my eldest turns one. Ang hirap talaga to manage two babies – and no yaya.

  4. Anna “Mommy Anna” Plaida

    November 7, 2014 at 12:27 am

    During my single days even though I have a planner there are times that I am so lazy to track it. But when I become a mom I need to stick on my schedule and be productive since I have to manage my time with work and family.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:25 am

      That’s true 🙂 there are so many things to do, minsan I forget what I’m supposed to do for the day. That’s why I always write it down para walang makalimutan 🙂

  5. musingsofakikaymom

    November 7, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I can relate to this very much! 🙂

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  6. tweenselmom

    November 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Thank you for the tips! With so many things we want to do in a day, it’s hard to focus and be productive talaga 🙂 Very ironic when you are so busy and yet you can’t have anything done.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:26 am

      Dibaa 🙂 And its even harder when there are two babies running around the house.

  7. Cheanne

    November 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I also get distracted when I’m online. I’d work a little, check FB, check blog, go back to working. Haha. What a time waster. I am also not a morning person. Before, what I’d do is wait for the kids to go to sleep and then work late at night. These days though I have to wake up earlier because we now live farther from school so I can’t keep the habit of working late. I’m thinking that I should follow you and wake up extra earlier in the morning. Zzzz. Wonder if I can do it hehe.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Ganyan din ako! Lol! It was hard at first. It took me days before I got used to this habit but eventually, nasanay narin 🙂

  8. work@homeMillie

    November 9, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I am having a hard time with #2 hehehe..:) Albeit, I tried being disconnected. I realized, I became more productive when I’m offline.:) Sanayan lang talaga. 🙂

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

      That’s true. Ang hirap lang kasi there is always a need to check something online. But syempre, self-discipline talaga 🙂

  9. Rackell Lumberio-Villareal

    November 10, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Thanks for sharing this mommy. I totally agree with this one “f I can’t finish it today, then that’s fine. That’s the purpose of “tomorrow,” right?”. Relate na relate ako.. 🙂

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Sometimes kasi, it’s really impossible to finish everything in 24 hours 🙂 Kaya relax lang:)

  10. Ma. Yvette Heart (@mayvetteheart)

    November 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Ayi 🙂 Relate much again sa tips mo sis 🙂 I wish I can do more on tip # 3 and 7. It really works for me as well na may planner kasi it really helps how we manage our time efficiently. Thank you for never-ending tips yo shared with us ♥

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Hi Mommy Yvette! I’m glad you found the tips useful 🙂 Of course you should set aside for yourself kasi nakakabaliw din doing everything mommy stuff diba?

  11. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    November 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    When we are moms we also learn how to multitask no? I think we do three million things simultaneously…including the time-wasting activities..LOL!

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

      I agree! Minsan nakakagulat na ang dami kong capable pala na gawin 🙂

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    December 20, 2014 at 1:09 am

    […] habits. Hmm, this is a tough one. I mentioned in a blog post that one of the ways to increase productivity is by getting rid of time-wasting activities. Yes, mommies. That includes checking e-mails, […]

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